Any successful warehouse manager will come to the point where manual processes become a barrier to growth. Spreadsheet inventory and printed pick lists become a liability as the number of products and the size of your warehouse grow. Automation, and in particular, a barcode inventory system are a common solution to this bottleneck.
If you are wondering what a barcode inventory management system can do, and if it’s the right next step for your warehouse then you are in the right place. Finding and implementing the best barcode inventory system for your warehouse is simpler than it might sound as well. Choosing a barcode scanner is the easy part, as there are many viable options for both dedicated barcode scanners as well as hybrid mobile devices that have a barcode scanner built in. The part that requires the most thought is which barcode scanner software you will use and what type of bigger system it will fit into.
A barcode scanner is just a data entry device…like a keyboard. Your Barcode inventory management software however acts as a means of collecting and organizing the data from your barcode scanner and making it useful. Barcode scanner software passes product information to your inventory management database without the need to manually enter that information. That greatly reduces the possibility of human error.
There are three common uses for barcode scanner software in the warehouse environment:
Receiving involves using the barcode scanner to mark freshly arrived inventory as accepted or rejected depending upon whether it is damaged or the correct quantity or variation ordered in your P.O. Your barcode inventory system should allow you to instantly update quantities with these numbers. Better yet, the best barcode inventory management software (like Zangerine) will have a column showing inventory “in transit” which you have ordered and is expected to arrive soon. This number will allow you to sell inventory that is about to arrive and once it comes in from your supplier you can check it in with the barcode scanner.
Picking is even simpler. Your barcode inventory system can generate a digital pick list viewable on a mobile device or on your barcode scanner. It will direct your picking staff to the right aisle, row and bin and they can use the barcode scanner to check each piece of inventory out of stock and into an order before shipping it out. Again this speeds the process and reduces the chance of human error.
Cycle counts allow you to walk a section of your warehouse and do an inventory count with the barcode scanner software, verifying correct levels or making corrections instantly. Besides these top three uses a barcode inventory system can simply training, speed growth, and more.
Do you sell bundles of products or kits that have the individual parts marked as individual SKUs? If so, you will want to generate your own custom barcodes for these kits or bundles. If your barcode inventory system is Zangerine then this is simple and once you’ve used the built in barcode generator software your new SKU and barcode can be printed out and affixed on your product bins.
Zangerine isn’t for everyone, but it is the best barcode inventory system for growing distributors in the United States. That’s because you can use nearly any barcode scanner or mobile device and the barcode inventory management software is specifically built for the needs of distributors including building in an advanced B2B and B2C ecommerce platform so you can list and manage orders from Amazon, eBay, Walmart.com and other marketplaces alongside your own ecommerce website orders or sales quotes made by your sales force. Zangerine pulls orders from all these sources and keeps your inventory levels up to date and manages the order fulfillment process. You can use the barcode generator software to create kits, and organize them in scannable bins. You can use the barcode scanner software to receive new inventory and also generate digital picking lists for all your orders and use a barcode scanner to check them out before shipping.
The benefits are of the Zangerine barcode inventory system are: